Today, Third Thursday of September (2012): Class Visit, Skyline College

It was very cold and foggy on the Skyline College Campus.  The last time self was here was almost a year ago, November, reading with Zack.

Now, she was visiting two of Prof. Liza Erpelo’s classes.  Liza is an Associate Professor in Skyline’s Language Arts Division, and Coordinator of the Kababayan Program.  She is absolutely tireless.  Self loves her vision, her energy, and her smarts.  Self learned today, from Liza’s introduction of her, that Liza credits Jaime Jacinto with inspiring her to bring Filipino writers into the classroom.  She said that one of the writers Jaime invited was self!  Oh, she remembers!  It was shortly after Calyx Press published her first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila!  How wonderful Jaime was, and all the Filipino writers who welcomed her with wide open arms into their little community:  Lou Syquia, Virginia Cerenio, Oscar and Luisa Peñaranda.

As self is always fascinated by interiors, here’s a peek inside Liza’s office, for the benefit of dear blog readers:

Liza is an avid San Francisco Giants fan, as anyone can tell from this little arrangement:

The little green and white box contains a Posey figure! In the framed photograph: Liza’s husband Jeremy and their daughter Aubrey.

The Giants won again today!  The magic number is dwindling (Self believes it’s now 4).

Would you believe, after speaking to two classes and having a fabulous lunch at Tribu with Liza and her new Fulbright (who, of all things, turns out to be from Bacolod!), self dashed to her car, took a wrong turn somewhere, and ended up in Half Moon Bay.  But it was a beautiful day!  And the beaches were gorgeous, simply gorgeous.

Coda:  The book the students had to read and write a paper on was self’s Mayor of the Roses.  A young man (not Filipino —  interesting that they sign up for this Kababayan class anyway) asked self a question about “Extinction” (This is her one ZYZZYVA story.  Howard Junker sent it back to her with a scribbled note:  “Needs to be MORE wild!”) which, self was bemused to learn, was not one of the stories Liza had assigned.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Utter Fabulousness of Liza E

Zack and self visited Liza E’s class at Skyline College today.

It was a beautiful day!

During the class (Students had drawn up a list of questions for self and Zack beforehand), self had occasion to recall that if it were not for Brian Roley, she would not have a book called Mayor of the Roses.

Self talked about the genesis of the title story. It was a nugget that remained in her consciousness for almost a decade before she sat down to write it. She originally hoped to turn it into a novel. But in the end, she hadn’t the nerve to live within the horror of its material for more than a couple of pages.

Brian just made an appearance at Pomona College. When self found out, she said: Why didn’t you tell me beforehand? Did you know son is at Claremont? He and his friends would have packed the reading!

Self delivered unto Liza (for The Bump) the incredible oinking pig. Self has to thank John Malkovich’s character in “Red” for giving her the idea.

Self feels so privileged: standing in Liza E’s office, Zack showed her the galleys for Leche. He told her a little about how the novel ends. Heads up, y’all: The book comes out in April.

Earlier, self had just stuffed her face with Lychee Shake, Lechon Kawali, Sinigang Bangus Belly and bibingka with ube ice cream at Tribu. Even though self kept protesting that she could not eat, she of course ended up eating. (She is definitely taking niece G here on Sunday, when she picks her up from the BART station! Before going to watch “Waiting for Superman” at Palo Alto Square!)

Liza E wore Giants wristbands on both wrists! Self found out that she and Jeremy are such fans they actually watch every single game! Compared to them, self is such a Johnny-come-lately! But self was happy to get into it with Liza on the time Brian Wilson had to color his orange fluorescent fabulous shoes with a black Sharpie because you are only allowed to have footwear that is half orange. Or some such ridiculous reason.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Get the Word Out

This year, Philippine International Aid is proud to present for the first time in the Bay Area, “The Romance of Magno Rubio,” the award-winning play about a Filipino immigrant worker who dreams of true love. The play with its original New York cast — Arthur Acuña, Bernardo Bernardo, Ramon de Ocampo, Jojo Gonzalez and Paolo Montalban — won 8 Obie awards. The tale is based on a short story by Carlos Bulosan and written by Lonnie Carter.

DATES: October 10 to 12
LOCATION: Skyline Theater in San Bruno, California.
TICKETS: $65 and $45.

Please help get the word out to friends, relatives, students!

If you are interested in being a sponsor and/or advertising in the souvenir program, please contact Lisa Yuchengco c/o Philippine International Aid.

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